This is not a post about my vehicle or the state of our local roads. Rather it’s about what we ask our bodies to do and how we usually push ourselves because at this moment I feel like a FORD (found off road daily).
It’s hard to admit but sometimes my body is starting to feel it’s age. Perhaps it’s because I had 10 days off and felt amazing. No early mornings, heavy patients, OR tables and equipment to move around. No run run run for 8 hours a day. Plus sunshine and beer at lunch. My body felt amazing despite 5 (yes 5!!!!) full days on the slopes. But the return to reality has been harsh.
I didn’t sleep well when we were away but still managed. Since returning home I’ve slept really badly. Like really badly. Mostly because my back has gone south in a huge hurry. I’ve tried all my usual tricks like meds, heat, shower, stretches and not much has worked.
So by mid morning I knew my back had gone into crisis mode although to put it into perspective it’s not life threatening and it’s 95% external factors. The spasms in the night lead to such tightness that I could hardly bend over. About the only thing that works is to keep walking.
Thank heavens for a well timed phone call and the cancellation list. In to see my favourite physio man at the end of my work day. The one with hands like a Mack Truck. It’s usually not fun and I often swear at him a little (or perhaps a lot). We share a long history of him keeping me “on the road” so to speak but we were talked frankly about aging and respecting what the body is trying to say. We also discussed the tough hours my job puts on my body. This was followed by a brutally honest conversation about my lack of a regular stretching and strengthening routine. The up side he showed me this super cool 3D image of the my trouble area. This is not that image but it shows the two muscles that are acting together to haunt me.
Now the issue is the one I always face when my back is brutal. I know, without any hesitation, that it will recover faster if I don’t push it. So lots of ice, stretching, walking and light activities. Add too much heavy stuff and the various muscles all start to complain loudly together. Then it takes forever to get better. So I opted for a heavy duty muscle relaxant, a hot bath and a sick day from work. That’s tough for me. I feel immense guilt when I’m forced to put my feet up and rest but sometimes you have to listen to your body. I always feel like I’ve let my team and my patients down.